Sandia Labs testing potential impact of nuclear weapons' blast
September 11, 2018 05:53 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Researchers from Sandia National Laboratories released a video showing a massive explosion that sent a shockwave through a blast tube, destroying a tumbleweed.
But the test wasn't about blowing up plants.
“What we use this test facility for is to simulate air blasts, so we simulate an air blast on a weapon that’s on its way to target and that would experience an air blast coming from another weapon," said test director, Nathan Glenn. "We get to see what the loading on that weapon would be and the functionality afterward.”
A model of a nuclear weapon is mounted at the end of a 120-foot long long blast tube.
“We place a charge on the west end of the tube, and we detonate that charge and it sends a blast wave through the tube and we use a tube to get a plainer shockwave and also to get the test unit away from the explosion,” said Glenn.
The blast will move toward the model weapon and blow it into a catch pit. The tube has pressure transducers along the length of the tube that measures the strength of the shockwave.
High-speed imaging technology helps researchers get a closer look at what kind of strength from a shockwave a nuclear weapon could handle.
“That enables us to see the shockwave, the actual blast wave coming out, and how it interacts with the weapon and the environments,” said Glenn.
Created: September 11, 2018 05:53 PM
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